Duke women top Florida State 72-66 at ACC tournament

CorrespondentMarch 9, 2013 

ACC Florida State Duke Basketball

Duke's Haley Peters shoots over Florida State's Chasity Clayton during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 9, 2013.

CHUCK BURTON — AP

Haley Peters did a lot of the damage early and Tricia Liston got it done late.

And it all worked out well for No. 1 seed Duke, which held off a tough challenge from No. 4 seed Florida State to win 72-66 in the semifinals of the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament on Saturday at Greensboro Coliseum.

The win propelled the Blue Devils, 29-2 and ranked No. 6 nationally, into Sunday’s 2 p.m. championship game against North Carolina.

The 23rd-ranked Seminoles (22-9), who lost the regular-season meeting with the Blue Devils 61-50 on Feb. 22 in Tallahassee, are certain to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Peters finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Liston also had 17 points including a trio of 3-pointers and 6-for-6 shooting from the free-throw line.

Duke also got 12 points from freshman guard Alexis Jones and 11 from Elizabeth Williams.

“I thought it was a great basketball game,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “It was very physical and exciting. Florida State is an excellent team. They had a lot of different players we had to slow down, and we did that at critical junctures.

“Both Haley and Tricia were fantastic that way in terms of moving the basketball, taking care of it and getting it in the right places as well as attacking (the basket) themselves.”

Chelsea Davis led Florida State with 17 points while Alexa Deluzio and Natasha Howard added 13 apiece.

“What a battle that was!” said FSU coach Sue Semrau, who added the staff did not tell the players Duke had a 28-10 rebounding advantage in the first half.

“We’re a little bit more slight in stature than some of the teams in the ACC. (But) credit Duke and their strength. They have great strength. And when you have the ability to use that, and they do, I would use that too. It’s a great advantage.”

Duke shot 46.0 percent to 37.9 for the Seminoles and outrebounded FSU 43-32. The Blue Devils committed 17 turnovers to Florida State’s 12.

Both teams had beaten rivals to get to the semifinals, as No. 6 Duke ousted N.C. State 79-65 and No. 23 Florida State topped Miami 70-58 in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Peters had scored only five points against the Wolfpack, but came out on fire on Saturday with a run of nine straight Duke points to lead her team to a 13-8 lead.

“We moved the ball really well coming out of the gates and we pushed the ball down the floor well,” Peters said. “We were cutting and moving well. The way we moved the ball at the beginning of the game I got some open looks and some putbacks.

“I just don’t worry about what’s gone on in past games. We got a chance to play again today, so what happened in the past wasn’t really in my mind at all.”

Duke, which led 34-31 at halftime, was never able to get a double-digit lead. Liston hit both free throws and added a 3-pointer to make it 43-36 on the possession after Howard received a technical for pushing the Blue Devils’ Chloe Wells on a held ball at 16:21.

FSU tied the game twice in the final six minutes, the last time on a Deluzio 3-pointer that made it 58-58 with 4:39 left.

But Liston answered with a 3-pointer 17 seconds later. Then in the final minute she went to the line twice – with Williams doing the same thing once between Liston’s chances – and hit a pair of free throws to extend Duke’s lead to eight.

“My teammates do a great job of driving and creating a lot of attention for a kick-out,” Liston said. “Then it just came down to knocking down the shots.

“I feel comfortable handling the ball and going to the line to knock down free throws. I take pride in my free throws and we practice them a lot. I don’t mind going to the free-throw line. I enjoy it and I’d like to keep producing.”

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